James Calder

Woodmill High SchoolWith the long-awaited release of the Dunfermline and West Fife catchment area review, James Calder, Councillor for Dunfermline South, is raising concerns on the impact for both parents and children in the area. Children in the catchment areas for schools such as Masterton Primary would be moved to Inverkeithing rather than go to school in Dunfermline.

Councillor Calder has commented, “Parents and children will rightly be concerned at the proposals. In particular I am worried that children in Masterton aren’t getting to go to their local High School and are being bussed out of town. After so many years of problems with capacity at the Primary School, this acts as a double-blow.”

“We should be seeking to ensure children can go to their local High School. We can surely do better and ensure that all children in Dunfermline can go to school in Dunfermline. For that reason I will continue to make the case at the Council on behalf of local parents and children.”

By Aude Boubaker-Calder

Aude and James at Fife Pride

On this first of July, Kirkcaldy was the centre of the first celebration of its kind in Fife. Known as well as the Lang Toun , Kirkcaldy welcomed the first Pride event of the Kingdom.

Councillor Jame Calder and myself, Aude Boubaker-Calder, joined the festivities organised by a local LGTBQ+ activist group Fife Pride.  The festivities were kicking off a bit before 1pm where the parade strolled on the High Street where a lot of the Saturday and Payday shoppers stopped to see this coloured-rainbow assembly celebrating Love for everyone disregarding gender and beliefs.

The parade finished on “The Square” where a massive marquee was waiting the celebrants with food, drinks but also various animations and stands representing associations and businesses supporting the LGTBQ+ cause.

There was a wonderful turn out for a first time event with the hope from the organisers and the participants of a come back the next year!

James with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

Last week the General Election took place and in Dunfermline and West Fife our candidate was James Calder. Although he was not elected, he increased the Lib Dem share of the vote locally from the previous election and gained a significant number of votes.

Nationally the Liberal Democrats were successful in gaining seats, including big hitters such as Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire and Vince Cable in Twickenham. In Edinburgh West, one of our neighbouring constituencies, Christine Jardine gained the seat back from the SNP.

James Calder has commented,

It was an honour to stand as a candidate for Dunfermline and West Fife. I would like to take the time to thank all those who supported me and I will continue working for Liberal Values locally. Nationally  I was delighted with the Liberal Democrats’ improvement in our support. It sends an important message to both of our Governments:

This was a  big no to another divisive second Independence Referendum to the SNP Government at Holyrood, who lost huge numbers of seats.

This was also a big no to Theresa May’s plans for a Hard-Brexit – she lost her majority and she should now be seeking to compromise and look for access to the Single Market to keep our economy strong.

 

 

James Calder with Willie Rennie

With the General Election approaching, the Scottish Liberal Democrats offer many strong reasons why they could best represent Dunfermline in the UK Parliament. Some of the reasons include:

  • As a Pro-UK Party, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently supported a strong Scotland in a strong United Kingdom. We will oppose another divisive Independence Referendum.
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats have a strong track record locally for getting things done with local Councillors like Tony Martin and former Dunfermline MP Willie Rennie.
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats believe in getting the best deal with Europe. We want to avoid an economically damaging hard-Brexit by negotiating Single Market access and giving the British people the chance to have the final word on the deal.
  • Willie Rennie and the Scottish Liberal Democrats have backed additional funding for our schools locally to meet the challenges of the Dunfermline Schools’ Capacity Crisis. We will seek to ensure education spending is increases locally.
  • The Liberal Democrats nationally have backed extra funding for the NHS which will also improve funding available for the Scottish NHS.

On Wednesday Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate James Calder attended to Fife Equality Hustings in Kirkcaldy along with candidates from the Conservatives, Labour and SNP. The evening provided an interesting forum to debate many issues, especially in the field of equality, between representatives from all the Parties standing in Fife in the General Election.

Some of the issues that were highlighted included the impact of Brexit on equalities, diversity in politics, the Refugee crisis and impacts on disabled people regarding equalities.

In the hustings James argued vigorously on these points. On Brexit, he made the point that in some quarters of the Conservative Party there was a suggestion that this could lead to a Singapore-style economy with reduced workers’ rights. He also described the fact that he was proud that the Liberal Democrats had fought in Parliament for the right to stay for EU citizens living in Britain.

On diversity in politics, James mentioned the work of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in ensuring all-female shortlists in target seats as well as the formation of the Diversity Working Group in the Party to improve our performance. He made the point that this was something all Parties needed to work towards.

On the refugee crisis, James mentioned that he was ashamed of the British Government for not doing more and was pleased at how Tim Farron had been campaigning strongly on this issue.

He also mentioned his disappointment that cuts on the local level that affected people with disabilities were made due to SNP underfunding Councils and that the Liberal Democrats had proposed a modest tax increase to avoid this, which the SNP rejected.

James also mentioned his disgust with the Rape Clause and the fact that he is opposed in General to the two-child limit to Child Tax Credits.

Overall the evening provided a lively atmosphere with the audience getting involved.

 

Today all of the Dunfermline General Election candidates united together in a show of solidarity to remember murdered former Labour MP Jo Cox. Liberal Democrat candidate James Calder joined with Douglas Chapman (SNP), Cara Hilton (Labour) and Belinda Hacking (Conservative) by visiting the new Museum and Art Gallery that has just opened to the public.

James Calder has said,

This showed an important message today- that no matter what some individuals may try to do, politicians from across the spectrum will unite to show we will not bow down to evil. Jo Cox was an MP who served her community and her murder was a tragic event. All of the candidates today showed though that we are united in wanting to make our community a better place and in honouring the memory of Jo.

Today’s event in Dunfermline mirrored other events around the UK to remember Jo Cox.

Today the Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto for the General Election. The manifesto offers the chance to Change Britain’s Future and offers a positive alternative to the Tories and their hard-Brexit agenda as well as Labour’s inability to oppose them.

Some of the pledges include:

  • To oppose the Conservatives’ hard-Brexit agenda by avoiding a disastrous Single Market exit and giving people, not politicians, the final say on the Brexit deal.
  • Opposing Scottish independence and instead delivering  stronger devolution powers.
  • Investing extra in our schools and NHS

James Calder, Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate for Dunfermline has commented, “The Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only Party that offers an alternative to regressive nationalism. The SNP obsess about independence, the Tories pander to xenophobia and an economically damaging agenda, and Labour are nowhere to be seen! If you want a brighter future which is based on hope rather than using fear and xenophobia. then the Scottish Liberal Democrats are your best possible choice here in Dunfermline.”

The Dunfermline Liberal Democrats have announced that James Calder has been selected as the Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidare for Dunfermline and West Fife. James is the Councillor for Dunfermline South and has lived most of his life in the Constituency.

James Calder has said, “Dunfermline and West Fife deserve an MP who will put the local community first, rather than being another Cheerleader for Independence. I want to see improvements to our education and NHS as well as a positive approach to Brexit negotiations which allows Britain to retain Single Market access and gives tthe British people the final decision. I also oppose any attempt at another Independence Referendum in any circumstances.”

The General Election is on the 8th June.

After a hard fought campaign James is looking forward to working hard for the local community.

Councillor Calder has said,

It is a privilege to be given this opportunity by the people of Dunfermline South. I would like to thank everyone who has given me their support and I pledge to work as hard as possible to ensure that the local area’s voice is heard in the Council.

We have problems caused by the Capacity Crisis in our schools locally as well as roads and pavements that have deteriorated into a poor state. I hope to work with fellow Councillors from all Parties to try and tackle these issues which need to be dealt with.

It is also important for me to be an approachable Councillor, and to that end I welcome anyone contacting me regarding issues that they would like dealt with.

 

Bryn Jones, our Dunfermline North Candidate

Bryn Jones, Dunfermline Liberal Democrat candidate for Dunfermline North, wants to improve the area. As such, here is his plan if he is elected:

  • Investing in sorting out the state of the roads. We need to get it right first time.
  • Fighting dog fouling – particularly in problem areas like on Tuke St, in Kingseat and parts of Bellyeoman.
  • Counter the problem of youth drinking by supporting police and promoting more youth activities.
  • Bryn is committed to prioritising education when elected.